WARREN, Mich. (AP) — Former Michigan State basketball player Keith Appling was charged with drug crimes after authorities say they found heroin in his vehicle that he planned to sell.


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NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 30: Keith Appling #11 of the Michigan State Spartans reacts against the Connecticut Huskies during the East Regional Final of the 2014 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Appling, 28, was arraigned Wednesday in a Warren courtroom on charges of delivery or manufacture of less than 50 grams of a controlled substance. Prosecutors said officers last Saturday found 19 grams, or a “golf ball sized” amount of heroin in a bag that was in a storage pocket behind the front passenger seat, The Macomb Daily reported. At the time of his arrest, Appling was on parole after serving jail time for gun and resisting-arrest charges.

According to court records, Appling plans to hire a lawyer. The Associated Press on Saturday called the number for an attorney who represented him during his last criminal case, but there was no answer.

His next hearing is set for Feb. 25.

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ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 18: Shelvin Mack #8 of the Atlanta Hawks drives againts Keith Appling #15 of the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena on January 18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


Assistant Macomb County Prosecutor Derek Miller told the newspaper that the amount of heroin found in the vehicle could have provided dozens of “hits” to drug users. He described the situation as “an unfortunate set of circumstances for someone who … played on outstanding basketball teams at MSU and brought joy to a lot of people.”

Appling, who was named Mr. Basketball in 2010 as the state’s top high school player, played for Michigan State from 2010-2014 and had two brief contracts with the Orlando Magic. More recently, he played professionally for teams in the Dominican Republic and Argentina.


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